Update 5/28/20. “The one daily supplement your cells need.” Wow! That is a very powerful statement and was the first thing I noticed when I was asked to review Elysium Basis. No, not the Matt Damon movie, Elysium, but an anti-aging supplement whose website says is a “a clinically-validated formulation designed to support well-being at the cellular level.” In short, Basis is a NAD supplement. I've had an interest in anti-aging supplements since I was 13 years old. So, anything promising the fountain of youth gets my attention. So, is Elysium really work? The best way to know is to go to science. Fortunately, there is some research on Elysium Basis. So, Does Basis by Elysium really work or is it a scam? Let's look at the evidence.
1 Elysium Basis Benefits
So, what's all the hype about this supplement? From the product website, Basis by Elysium is said to offer these benefits:
- Raise NAD+ levels (more about this below)
- Metabolic Repair & Optimization (whatever that is?)
A byproduct of these is, of course, the promise of “anti-aging.” Slowing down the aging process is not specifically mentioned on the Elysium website but a drop in cellular NAD levels is thought in some circles to play a role in aging.
Thus, anything which might raise NAD+, might – in theory – help reverse or slow down aging and conditions associated with growing older. I'll address the possibility in the sections below.
2 Elysium Basis Ingredients
Every 2 capsules of Basis by Elysium contain the following ingredients:
- Nicotinamide riboside 250 mg
- Pterostilbene 50 mg
That's pretty straight forward as supplements go (I've seen some with dozens of ingredients). It's recommended to take 2 Elysium capsules per day.
3 Other Ingredients
Elysium Basis also contains:
- Microcrystalline Cellulose
- Vegetable Magnesium Stearate
These other ingredients likely play no role in the benefits of the product.
4 What Is NAD?
We can't discuss Elysium Basis without talking about NAD (also written as NAD+). These letters stand for Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide. It's pronounced “Nick-ah-tin-a-mide -Ad-a-neen-die-new-cleo-tide.” NAD is a compound related to the vitamin, niacin (vitamin B3). We make NAD from niacin and it's related vitamin niacinamide. We can also make NAD from the amino acid, tryptophan.
Sometimes NAD+ is called a coenzyme (or cofactor) because it helps enzymes work better. NAD is one of the most important coenzymes in the human body because it helps us make energy. Every cell in your body has NAD.
Inside our cells are tiny fat-burning batteries called mitochondria. It turns out, there is a LOT of NAD inside our mitochondria. As NAD levels decline as we get older, the mitochondria make mistakes in how they do things. This, in turn, is related to aging.
Because of this, researchers are looking at the mitochondria as a target of anti-aging therapies. So, if NAD levels decline with age, what happens if we add NAD? Will this turn back the clock and help us grow younger?
That is the subtle promise of Elysium Basis and other NAD booster supplements. How does raising NAD levels reverse aging? This is where sutins come in.
Sirtuins (sir-two-ins) are genes that play a role in the aging process. Sirtuin genes make sirtuin enzymes – protein machines that do many things ranging from reducing inflammation, keeping DNA healthy, and, it seems, the regulating aging process too.
Translation: the NAD helps sirtuins work better.
NAD also helps cells talk to each other by way of a complex dance called “redox signaling.” See the ASEA water review for more on redox signaling. Yes, this is all VERY complicated and so I won't try to explain it further than this.
In a nutshell, let's just say that NAD is very important. Because it is.
Now, let's look at the Elysium Basis research -and he research on Elysium's ingredients. The research will best help you figure out if this supplement is right for you.
Let's do that now…
Video: How To Raise NAD Levels
Here's a quick video I created on ways to boost NAD levels:
5 Elysium Basis Research
There is a study on Elysium that's published in a medical journal. If you decided to read the study, Elysium Basis is referred to as “NRPT.”
Elysium Basis Study Summary
- 120 men and women between 60-80 years of age
- The study lasted 3 months
The people were randomly given either:
- Elysium Basis once per day (250mg NR +50 Pterostilbene)
- Elysium Basis twice per day (500 mg NR + Pterostilbene)
The people were given various blood tests and physical fitness tests during the study
Elysium Basis Clinical Study Results
- Elysium Basis increases NAD levels
- Elysium (twice per day) raises NAD by 90%
- Elysium given once per day raised NAD levels by 40%
- No bad changes in liver enzymes occurred during the study (that's good)
- No bad changed in kidney function (that's good)
- Elysium did not reduce triglyceride levels – but the placebo did (that's odd)
- Basis (once per day) lowered diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) after 2 months of use
- Basis (twice per day) improved walking time and the 30-second chair stand test results (once a day did not)
- Basis (twice per day) seemed to raise total cholesterol and LDL (that might not be good)
This study is a mixed bag of both good and not so good things. After reading the study, I felt there were some problems. For example:
- No group compared nicotinamide riboside (NR) itself against Elysium Basis
- While the study appears to be well done, employees (and stockholders) of Elysium Health took part in data collection and analysis of the data. This information is stated in the study. This
These 2 issues reduce the gravity of this study in my opinion.
It's research like this why I am so skeptical of Elysium and NAD supplements.
Now, let's look at the clinical research on the ingredients in Elysium Basis and see what we can learn from them.
6 Elysium Basis Ingredients Research
Elysium Basis is composed of two ingredients:
- Nicotinamide riboside
To make this easier, let's summarize the research on both ingredients separately.
7 Nicotinamide Riboside Research
First off, in case you wondered, it's pronounced “Nick-oh-tin-ah-mide Rye-bow-side.” It was originally discovered in cows milk and we can make it from tryptophan (an amino acid) as well as the vitamins niacin and niacinamide.
Nicotinamide riboside (NR) comes from a company called ChromaDex Inc. (ChromaDex.com). This company invented NR and owns the US patents on it. ChromaDex allows other companies to purchase NR and use it in their NAD-booster supplements.
In fact, Chromadex even has its own NR supplement, called Niagen.
Another popular NR supplement is Niacel.
Nicotinamide riboside is the primary ingredient in Basis by Elysium. That's because research seems to show it can raise NAD levels. Because of this, nicotinamide riboside is touted to improve a wide array of things such as, but not limited to:
There are studies on all this – and more – out there. This is why NR is one of the most highly touted anti-aging supplements today.
It all sounds great. But, most of the research involves lab animals or test-tube studies. I'm sorry but we are not mice, rats, rabbits or isolated cells in test tubes. We are more complicated than that.
One company-sponsored human investigation did appear to show that NR raised NAD levels in people. But, this study only involved 1 person.
Stay tuned for better research.
See The Nicotinamide Riboside Review for more insights.
8 Pterostilbene Research
Pterostilbene (pronounced “Tera-STILL-Bean”) is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound that's related to resveratrol. It's found in grapes, red wine and it protects plants from environmental stresses. Basically, it helps the plants stay healthy. This is true for many other plant chemicals we eat too.
Both pterostilbene and resveratrol are part of a larger class of plant chemicals called stilbenoids (still-ben-oids). Pterostilbene is found naturally in:
Pterostilbene is likely used in Elysium because it seems to be absorbed better than resveratrol.
It seems likely that pterostilbene is in Elysium, because of its antioxidant and other properties. Not because it raises NAD. For example, blueberry juice (pterostilbene is in blueberries) has been shown to significantly increase the antioxidant enzyme Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) in rats.
Most of the clinical studies appear to be lab animal or isolated cells in test tubes/petri dishes. The research is intriguing and appears to show pterostilbene may help:
These and other effects would play a role in how fast we grow older.
So, can pterostilbene help people? I'm sure it does and the research is still going on.
One study involving that lasted 6-8 weeks, involving 80 people noted pterostilbene lowered blood pressure but also raised LDL (bad cholesterol) and total cholesterol. The amounts of Pterostilbene used in this study ranged from 100 to 250 mg per day. I'd like to see at least another study before I believe pterostilbene raises cholesterol.
Interestingly this effect on raising LDL / total cholesterol was not seen when pterostilbene was combined with grape seed extract. This study also saw some very minor weight loss (about 1 pound) as well.
Another study (likely related to the one above) noted that pterostilbene seems to be safe up to 250 mg per day.
Some say pterostilbene activates sirtuins, genes involved in the aging process. In a mouse study, however, neither resveratrol or pterostilbene activated these anti-aging genes.
See the Pterostilbene Review for more insights
9 What's The Dosage?
How much Elysium Basis should you take? Elysium recommends taking 2 capsules per day. If you follow these directions, you are getting 250 mg of nicotinamide ribose and 50 mg of pterostilbene.
10 Does Elysium Raise NAD Levels?
Yes, it seems it does. The Elysium study, summarized above, does appear to show this. There is also a study on
A small human study of the key ingredients in Basis -Nicotinamide riboside – has also shown this raises NAD levels too.
11 Does Elysium Lengthen Telomeres?
Telomeres, help keep our DNA healthy. They are little bits of DNA, which like the caps at the end of shoelaces, protect our DNA from becoming damaged. Longer telomeres are associated with being younger while shorter telomeres are associated with aging.
Sirtuin genes (described above) help keep telomeres healthy. So, if Elysium Basis activates sirtuins, does that mean it lengthens telomeres? Its a good question and it will take research to prove. No studies have looked Elysium Basis and telomeres yet. The same thing goes for its active ingredient, nicotinamide riboside either.
12 Do You Take It With Food Or Without Food?
The Elysium website says you can take Basis with or without food. But, because pterostilbene is fat-soluble, I wonder if it might be best to take this supplement with food?
13 Elysium vs. Niacel
Niacel is a popular NR supplement from a company called Throne Research. It contains nicotinamide riboside chloride, which is the fancy name for nicotinamide riboside, which is also in Elysium Basis. Currently, there appear to be no comparisons on the effects or benefits of Niacel vs Elysium Basis to see which is better. I believe if both have the same amount of Nicotinamide riboside, they should work about the same.
14 Elysium vs. Tru Niagen
Elysium Basis contains pterostilbene in addition to nicotinamide riboside. Does that mean Elysium is better than just taking Tru Niagen (nicotinamide riboside) by itself? This is difficult to say because there seem to be no published, head-to-head studies that pit them against each other.
Maybe adding pterostilbene results in more benefits than taking NR alone – or maybe it doesn't? My guess is pterostilbene doesn't add much to and it's the nicotinamide riboside that's the real key ingredient. Let's see what future studies show.
Hey college students; this would make a good Thesis or Dissertation topic (hint, hint).
15 Elysium Basis vs. Protandim
Protandim, a product of a company called LifeVantage, is a very popular anti-aging supplement that's been around forever. One of the things Protandim is supposed to do is be an NRF2 activator. NRF2 helps antioxidant enzymes like SOD and glutathione work better. This, in turn, reduces free radical damage (oxidative stress). Well, it turns out that pterostilbene can activate NRF2 also.
So, the question then becomes, how does Protandim compare to Basis by Elysium? For those wondering about this, I can only say, that's a good question.
While both Protandim and Basis contain different ingredients, at the end of the day, both are supposed to do something similar – reduce oxidative stress (free radical damage) and, in theory, help to age on some level. Oxidative stress does seem to play a role in aging. This idea is often called The Free Radical Theory of Aging.
So is Basis better than Protandim or vice versa? It's hard to say either way until the studies are done. I doubt those studies will happen anytime soon.
See the Protandim Review for much more information.
16 Elysium vs. Niacin
Nicotinamide riboside is made from niacin. So, could someone get the same benefits -and save money – by just taking niacin? Niacin will increase NAD levels. While taking lots of niacin can also raise HDL levels, it can be a double-edged sword, being linked to several health issues such as liver problems and insulin resistance (pre-diabetes). As such, it's probably not recommended.
Niacinamide is a version of niacin that does not have those health problems.
Niacinamide can also raise NAD levels.
So, could you just take niacinamide instead? Would the effects on NAD and benefits the same? While it's tempting to think this way, I would prefer to wait until human clinical trials become available.
17 Is It Basis By Elysium Vegan?
Yes. Basis by Elysium contains no ingredients from animal sources. It's vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, and has no artificial colors or flavors.
18 Is it Kosher?
I'm not sure if Basis by Elysium is Kosher or not. The product website does not mention kosher certification.
19 Elysium Basis And Weight Loss
There is no good proof Elysium helps people lose weight. To be fair, the supplement is not marked for weight loss. While one investigation of one its ingredients (pterostilbene) did find a little bit of weight loss (1 pound), that's not much. This amount can easily be obtained by eating a few fewer calories per day. My advice, don't buy Elysium for weight loss.
20 Can Elysium Basis Cure Disease?
The main idea behind taking Basis is that by raising NAD levels and reducing oxidative stress, people will reap the benefits of healthy aging and suffer from fewer diseases that can accompany growing older. But, the studies are just not there yet to say either way if taking the Basis supplements will do any of this.
Anything is possible but, it's really going to take research to prove.
21 Good House Keeping Award
The Good House Keeping Institute awarded Elysium Basis its first-ever Innovation Award in May of 2018. To paraphrase Good House Keeping, the reasons for this award was because the Elysium company has brought “new levels of scientific rigor and research to the supplement industry and helps move the conversation in preventive health and wellness forward.”
I'm sorry but, at the time this award was given, Elysium had mostly lab animal and test tube research. The only human research I saw just showed Elyisum raised NAD levels -nothing else. How is that “new scientific rigor?” Dr. Binur Aral holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering. She knows how to interoperate clinical research. What research convinced her?
22 Who Makes Elysium Basis?
The company is called Elysium Health Inc. Founded in 2014 by Leonard Guarente who is a respected biologist and anti-aging researcher. According to this Bloomberg article, it is a privately held company located at 200 Congress Park Drive Suite 205 Delray Beach, FL 33445.
Searching online for this address (minus suite 205) reveals a large office building. Bloomberg also states that there is a “creation location” in Silicon Valley California.
To learn more about this, I called Elysium Health who told me that the Delray Beach FL address is not correct. The person I spoke with would not tell me where their home office is or where Elysium is made either. Wow!
The Better Business Bureau lists this address: 594 Broadway Suite 707 New York, NY 10012-3257. This address reveals a large building that likely houses many companies in different offices/suites. See the BBB file for updates and more information
23 Contact Elysium
To contact Elysium Health, call 888 220 6436 M-F 9AM-5PM
24 Buy Elysium Basis
Basis is not sold in stores like Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Costco, Sams Club, or BJs. Rather, it can only be purchased at the Elysium website of its affiliates.
25 How Much Is Elysium Basis?
When this review was created, Elysium Health had these prices for Basis:
- 1 bottle: $60
- Monthly Plans ($40/ bottle)
With monthly plans, prices look like this:
- 1 year prepaid upfront: $480
- 6 months prepaid upfront $270
- Pay by the month: $50
It looks like to get Basis by Elysium for $40/bottle, you would have to pay a whole year upfront ($40 X 12=$480). If paying monthly or every 6 months, it appears like they are adding a bit on to this amount. For what it's worth, I've never seen a supplement company with pay by the year price before.
26 Make Your Own Basis By Elysium?
Can you make your own Basis by Elysium and save money? Sure you can. Remember, Elysium has 2 ingredients: nicotinamide riboside (250 mg) and pterostilbene (50 mg).
Compare prices to make your own if that works best for you. Or you can buy it directly from ElysiumHealth.com and save the hassle.
27 Elysium Basis vs. Niagen
No study has compared the benefits of Elysium to Tru Niagen. Personally, I think the power of Elysium to raise NAD levels is because it contains Niagen. Niagen (and Niacel) is really a supplement called nicotinamide riboside (NR). This compound can raise NAD levels.
28 Elysium Basis vs. Niacin
Remember nicotinamide is another name for niacinamide – which is the vitamin niacin (vitamin B3). If that's so, couldn't you just take niacinamide instead? I think you probably could. Niacinamide also raises NAD levels.
29 Elysium / ChromaDex Lawsuit
This is a giant rabbit hole that I prefer not to go down, but I know people are talking about it so I'm going to just summarize it those who want to do their own research. Basically, Elysium Health gets its ingredients from ChromaDex (ChromaDex.com). They -as well as others – pay ChromaDex for the ingredients they use in the Basis supplement.
ChromaDex alleged that Elysium Health was not paying them for the ingredients and decided to take them to court. According to the supplement industry website, Nutriingredients, Elysium is no longer using ChromaDex, but someone else, to supply their ingredients.
It's all very complicated and from what I've seen, it is as close to a soap opera as it gets. This is as far as I care to wade into these waters. Performing an online search for “Elysium ChromaDex lawsuit” should reveal many other sites that discuss this topic in greater detail.
30 Elysium Basis Side Effects
Is Elysium Basis safe? I believe in healthy people, yes. There is even a human safety study that shows this also. Generally, I think most NAD supplements are pretty safe too. Even so, I feel the following general items should be considered:
- Start with less than suggested for the first week to see how you respond
- Stop taking Elysium at least 2 weeks before surgery
- The supplement is not intended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Elysium is not for kids. Their NAD levels are already high.
- Speak to your doctor/pharmacist if you take any medications
One study noted that pterostilbene might promote a mild increase in LDL and total cholesterol. Other studies should determine if this is true or not. Interestingly the 2017 Elysium study also showed an elevation of total cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol).
Looking through the online testimonials on Amazon, I noticed one diabetic say Niagen (a popular NR supplement) raised blood sugar levels. While I've not seen any study confirming this, niacin can raise blood sugar levels. NR is derived from niacin. How likely this effect might be is unknown. I normally disregard Amazon testimonials because you never know who is behind the words. But, given the gravity of this, diabetics should be aware and monitor blood sugar accordingly, just in case.
While I doubt if NR causes flushing (like niacin does), as a rule, start, out with less than is recommended to see how you respond.
31 What I Like / Don't Like
Here is a quick rundown of what I liked and didn't about the Basis supplement. These are my opinions based on what I've learned during this review. Take these for what you like.
|What I like||What I Didn't Like|
|Product has only 2 ingredients||Product is expensive|
|Ingredients have some research||Most studies do not involve people|
|Company does not make wild claims about benefits||Where is the company located?|
|Safety study has been conducted on humans||The lawsuit with ChromaDex|
32 Does Elysium Really Work?
While most of the research does not involve humans, I'm fairly sure Elysium will raise NAD levels in people. The company's own research shows. It does this because it contains nicotinamide riboside. But, does boosting NAD levels to mean Elysium Basis can slow down the aging process, protect your brain, or provide any of the other benefits that a modern-day fountain of youth is supposed to do. Nobody knows this yet. For now, I remain skeptical, but let's see what the future human studies show.